Chelsea manager Frank Lampard faces an injury crisis in midfield with Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic ruled out for Everton’s visit on Sunday, according to the club’s official website.
Jorginho is suspended after picking up his 10th yellow card of the season last weekend against Bournemouth.
Meanwhile, Kovacic is unavailable after sustaining an Achilles injury in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup but is not expected to be out for long, according to Lampard.
The duo’s absence compounds the Blues’ injury problems with key midfielder N’golo Kante already ruled out with a hip injury.
Young Chelsea starlet Billy Gilmour is thus expected to retain his place in the starting XI following a highly impressive performance in midweek.
“He had a day off, I’m sure he enjoyed it, he should do,” Lampard said about the Scottish youngster.
“His family were here for the game. Billy is a very determined young lad, very smart.
“He’ll understand it was a good game for him, but the hard work starts now.”
However, midfield isn’t the only area on the pitch where Chelsea face a shortage of players.
Lampard delivered a negative update on Callum Hudson-Odoi, with the young Blues winger suffering a re-injury on his first training session back.
Despite being given the green light from the medical staff, Hudson-Odoi picked up another injury and underwent a scan on Friday.
Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham remains ruled out while Willian is also a doubt for Sunday.
The Brazilian winger also has an Achilles problem and there are question marks over his involvement against Everton.
However, there was some positive news for the Chelsea faithful with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic nearing returns from their respective injuries.
The Blues duo featured in an in-house game, putting important minutes under their belt as they look to provide a boost for Lampard’s side ahead of the business end of the season.
“It’s great to see Christian get some minutes,” the Chelsea manager continued.
“He’s short of match fitness but it’s the first time the injury has felt at a level to get him on a big pitch in a relatively competitive match.
“That’s a big step forward, hopefully.
“Ruben played half of that game himself. He is trying to find match fitness. He’s short of that, Ruben is saying that himself and I can see that. There is work to do.”
Chelsea drew 2-2 last time out against Bournemouth but Everton’s draw with Manchester United last weekend meant that the Blues retained their three-point cushion over the Red Devils in fifth place.